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Solvay Solidarity Fund dedicates €100K to support guar farmers in India during the Covid-19 crisis

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Helping Indian guar farmers’ urgent needs due to the Covid-19

The Solvay Solidarity Fund is dedicating €100,000 to help address Indian guar farmers’ urgent economic and sanitary needs due to the Covid-19 crisis. Guar farmers, who play a crucial role in Solvay’s supply chain, have seen a drop in their income because of severe restrictions of movement. They have also been affected by poor monsoon conditions, which have reduced guar yield. ers and employees.

Indian guar farmers are considered an important part of the Group’s extended workforce and we want to support them during this challenging period. This donation will provide supplies to meet their immediate needs while also helping them become more resilient in the future.

Anne-Charlotte Butrot, Solvay’s Sustainability Project Manager
Sustainable Guar Initiative Mother holding young child

The donation will pay for organic agricultural inputs (such as guar seeds) and provide more sanitary protective equipment such as masks, sanitizers, gloves and soaps. In addition, it will cover the costs of constructing more rainwater storage wetlands to collect and store scarce water supplies throughout the year. This is a game changer for the farmers as they are working in a semi-desert region. Trees with 12 different types of fruit will also be planted in more villages, which will provide another source of nutritious food. Finally, the donation will be applied to a menstrual awareness campaign, which has already trained more than 2000 women and 1500 young girls on menstrual hygiene and how to create their own cloth pads. Some women have begun making and selling cloth pads and their entrepreneurship will be supported through this funding. 

About the Sustainable Guar Initiative

In 2015 Solvay partnered with L’Oréal, Hichem and the NGO TechnoServe to create the Sustainable Guar Initiative aimed at providing farmers with the tools and knowledge to help them increase their yields and revenues, empowering women in the communities and protecting the fragile environment of Bikaner, in the Northwestern Indian province of Rajasthan. From 2015 to the end of 2020, the program led to a 125 percent increase in guar yields. 

“As COVID-19 continues to threaten health and livelihoods in Bikaner, Rajasthan, our Sustainable Guar Initiative is adapting and innovating to safely deliver essential support to local households,” said Punit Gupta, Country Director, TechnoServe India. “This is made possible by the support from the Solvay Solidarity Fund, which has enabled us to distribute guar seeds, masks, sanitizer, soaps, gloves, and menstrual hygiene kits to over 1200 vulnerable farming households free of cost.”

Guar farmers play an integral role at the top of Solvay’s global guar supply chain by producing a steady supply of the drought-resistant legume used as an eco-friendly solution in shampoos, cosmetics, food/beverage items and pharmaceuticals.

About the Solvay Solidarity Fund 

The Solvay Solidarity Fund was launched on April 9, 2020 to provide additional support, both financial and non-financial, to any Solvay employee and dependents who experiences adversity due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. To a larger extent, the purpose of the Fund is to offer support for research, health and social organizations involved in the fight against COVID-19, on both its sanitary and economical effects on Solvay employees and associated communities. It is funded by voluntary contributions by shareholders, the Group’s directors, CEO Executive Committee members, management members and employees.